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Developing co-laborative methods for digital transformations 
Dennis Eckhardt (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Libuše Hannah Vepřek (University of Tübingen)
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Format :
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel explores co-laborations between STS scholars and computer scientists, practitioners, and engineers at the forefront of digital change. It focuses on new modes of integrating STS sensibilities with solution-oriented methods to shape digital transformation through mutual learning.

Long Abstract:

With digital technologies changing various dimensions of everyday life, from healthcare and dwelling to communication and governance, computer scientists, programmers, IT-scholars, engineers, and cryptographers are playing a key role in shaping these very transformations and, thus, the worlds we inhabit. They do so by, for example, developing AI-based solutions for enterprises and “smart” households, digitalizing administrative processes in hospitals or creating solutions to mitigate the risks introduced by digital technologies as in the example of cyber security. For STS scholars to engage in making and doing digital transformations in sensitive and critical ways, we must co-laborate with those currently at the forefront of change.

Drawing on Jörg Niewöhner and colleagues’ notion of co-laboration which describes cross-disciplinary approaches focusing on joint epistemic work with the goal of deepening reflexivity (Niewöhner 2016; 2019; Bieler et al. 2021), this panel explores concepts and experiences in working together with scientists and practitioners shaping the “technosphere” (Ihde 1975) of everyday life. Instead of focusing on critique and working in asynchronous cycles of development, we concentrate on approaches that aim to jointly shape transformations with integrated methods: We aim to discuss ongoing co-laborative methodological engagements between STS scholars and computer scientists, engineers and cryptographers that leverage both STS sensibilities, reflexivity, and criticism, as well as practice- and solution-oriented approaches. This panel invites discussions on questions like how we can emphasize and further develop mutual learning processes, how STS can go beyond mere critique of the Wissenschaften and what can we learn from computer science methods to actively engage in and make digital transformations co-laboratively.

We are welcoming both traditional paper presentations and experimental contributions reflecting on experiences in co-developing digital transformation in interdisciplinary fields and discussing new approaches and co-laborative methods such as new modes of writing together, participatory modeling, critical hacking, or cryptographic fieldnoting.